In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality

In Search of the Multiverse: Parallel Worlds, Hidden Dimensions, and the Ultimate Quest for the Frontiers of Reality

by John Gribbin


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Is our universe just one of many?

The most fascinating mysteries in modern physics seem to point us in that direction. As impossible as it seems—that other universes came before ours, float alongside ours, or even mirror ours—the evidence is surprisingly convincing.

In his most mind-blowing, sweeping work since Schrödinger's Kittens and the Search for Reality, acclaimed science writer and astrophysicist John Gribbin takes readers In Search of the Multiverse, launching an extraordinary journey to the frontiers of reality. Touching on the newest research on quantum physics, thermodynamics, string theory, and even the nature of God, this brilliant tour of the current state of cosmology also goes beyond the realm of settled science to the astonishing questions theoretical physicists have only now begun to ask.

Gribbin has long been known for his ability to explain even the most bewildering and complex ideas in the simplest of terms, and that skill is fully on display here. In this new book, he reveals why even the greatest thinkers can't explain the realities of quantum physics without bumping up against the unimaginable. He explores certain anomalies in our Universe that only make sense when you incorporate ideas that were once found only in science fiction. But which fantastical notion of alternate universes is the right one?

Gribbin guides you expertly through the competing Multiverse theories, who thought them up, and what problems they were hoping to solve with such outlandish ideas. You'll visit a realm of infinite space containing an infinite number of regions separated by infinite distances and ruled by different sets of physical laws. You'll drift along an infinite time line, on which different universes are strung out, one after the other, like beads on a wire. And you'll leaf through an infinitely thick book stuffed with an infinite number of pages: each page a different universe, existing in a different dimension—tantalizingly close together, but eternally unable to communicate with each other.

If our universe is three-dimensional and infinite, how could it be inside something else? Is it possible to travel to one of these alternate universes? Are particles traveling there every moment? How can scientists prove the existence of the Multiverse if they can't travel to it? Read In Search of the Multiverse and enter a world that is more mind-bending, thought-provoking, and imagination-sparking than the fantasy worlds you'd discover in a bookstore full of science fiction novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781684424603
Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
Publication date: 08/01/2010
Pages: 244
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

JOHN GRIBBIN is one of today’s greatest writers of popular science and the author of bestselling books including In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat, Science: A History, and Deep Simplicity. He trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex.

Table of Contents


Preface: The Search.

Introduction: In an Infinite Universe, Anything Is Possible.

1. The Coming of the Quantum Cats.

Neither wave nor particle; A quantum of uncertainty; The only mystery; Interpreting the unimaginable; The mother of all quantum cats; The many worlds of Hugh Everett; The branching tree of history; Everett comes in from the cold.

2. Cosmic Coincidences Revisited.

The carbon coincidence; Why is the Universe so big?; Nuclear efficiency; The incredible lightness of gravity; Cosmology's coincidental constant; Ripples in a smooth cosmic sea; Three dimensions good, more dimensions bad; The lottery of life.

3. Quantum Bits and Time Slips.

Being in two minds; In search of the quantum computer; The killer application; Practicalities; Where does it all happen?; A metaphor for the Multiverse; When does it all happen?;Timeslips; Broader horizons.

4. Infinite in All Directions.

Arrows of time; The heat death of the Universe; Every conceivable accident; Time and distance; Time and thermodynamics; The cosmic arrow and the gravitational sink; Bouncing back?; Back to the future.

5. (Just Like) Starting Over.

The particle connection; Nothing comes from nothing; Inflating the Universe; The return of the Steady State?; Bubbles on the River of Time; Eternal inflation and simple beginnings; Boltzmann’s brain, the arrow of time, and causal patch physics; To infinity – and beyond!

6. The String's the Thing.

Gravity grabs attention; Two approaches plus a third way; Compact but perfectly formed; The magic of M; Revisiting the incredible weakness of gravity; When worlds collide; By its bootstraps; The bottomless pit; There's lots of places like home; Exploring the cosmic landscape; The return of Schrödinger’s cat.

7. Faking It? Or Making It?

Is it science?; Inside information; The fakers; Black holes and baby universes; Selecting universes naturally; A new perspective; Makers of universes; Evolution in designer universes; Universes by design.

Further Reading.



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